BTS’ ‘Dynamite’ Wouldn’t Exist Without Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’

“Dynamite” made history by being BTS‘ first song recorded entirely in English. During an interview, one of the song’s co-writers explained how BTS’ fans helped shape “Dynamite.” She also explained how Katy Perry‘s “Firework” influenced the song.

Members of BTS wearing tuxedos
BTS | John Shearer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

How BTS’ fans inspired the ‘essence’ of ‘Dynamite’

“Dynamite” was co-written by Jessica Agombar. During a 2020 interview with Billboard, Agombar discussed some of the influences behind the song. “I went on Twitter and checked all the fan tweets from the ARMY — and I’ve never, ever come across a fan base like BTS’ fan base,” she said. “They’re absolutely incredible, they’re like this huge, huge family.

“I wanted that essence, like a worldwide gang could sing this song and it would be like world domination,” Agombar added. “We’re all singing something positive and uplifting at this time and I looked at all the tweets from them and I thought, “Wow, the fan base are literally doing the A&R, the PR for this band.”

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Why Jessica Agombar was thinking of Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ while she was writing the song

Agombar said she wanted to write a song for BTS that had a certain feel. “‘It needs to be explosive’ — and obviously explosive then became ‘Dynamite,'” she said. “Any kind of word like that … I’m always thinking of fireworks, or ‘Firework,’ because I’m a massive Katy Perry fan.”

She further discussed her vision for “Dynamite.” “I just wanted anything high-energy,” she revealed. “It wasn’t a particular lyric, it was a bundle of ideas: explosive, fireworks, dynamite, party, fun, energetic, worldwide takeover.”

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The way fans in the United States reacted to Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ and BTS’ ‘Dynamite’

Both “Firework” and “Dynamite” became massive hits; however, one of them reigned supreme on the charts. “Firework” was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks, staying on the chart for 39 weeks in total. Perry released “Firework” on the album Teenage Dream. Teenage Dream was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for one week, remaining on the chart for 265 weeks altogether.

Although it was BTS’ first No. 1 song in the United States, “Dynamite” was slightly less popular than “Firework.” “Dynamite” was No. 1 for three of its 32 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. BTS initially released “Dynamite” as a standalone single before including the song on the album Be. Be was No. 1 for one of its 37 weeks on the Billboard 200.

Both songs impacted pop culture. For example, “Firework” appeared in the comedy film The Interview. The Interview depicts Kim Jong-un as a fan of Perry who listens to her music while he drives a tank. “Dynamite” soundtracked the trailer for the movie Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Regardless of which was more successful in the U.S., “Firework” and “Dynamite” are both fantastic pop songs.

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